It turned out that taxpayers in Kansas pretty much subsidize the millions of dollars that sports betting applications across the US hand out to their customers to incentivize further wagering. Reports have also shown that the relatively new sports betting sector generates hardly any revenue for the state, which means that it brings almost nothing to Kansas’ operating budget.
To make things worse, it was unveiled that programs that are supposed to be helping problem gamblers are getting only the crumbs from the sector’s table, receiving a negligible portion of the overall gambling revenue. Instead, a large amount of proceeds are transferred to a fund aimed at attracting a sports team to the state – a concept that would be impossible for Kansas to afford.
Sports betting services were officially authorized by a majority of state lawmakers from both the Democratic and the Republican Parties, with Kansas legislation currently favoring casinos and digital sportsbook services. Unfortunately, local customers remain pretty much unprotected against possible gambling-related harm.
According to experts, local lawmakers could change that by bringing some legislative changes. For example, Republican Representative Paul Waggoner has consecutively pointed out some legislative flaws to his fellow legislators and criticized the provision that allows casinos to provide tax-free promotions to Kansas punters – a tool that can be actually used to lure people into gambling, while at the same time bringing no additional revenue for the state budget.
Kansas Lawmakers Unwilling to Bring Changes to Sports Betting Laws
Reportedly, the state has made less than $6 million over the first fiscal year of the aforementioned program, although Kansas residents have placed wagers worth AU$1.6 billion on the outcome of various events.
Despite that, supporters of the existing sports betting legislation have been claiming that Kansas is actually in line with the rest of the US states that have already made the new form of gambling legal since the US Supreme Court eliminated the federal ban on sports betting services in 2018.
Lobbyists for online sports betting operators have recently noted that former House Speaker Ron Ryckman was very much involved in the legislative process. He has always claimed that only the best practices established in other US states that already offer legal sportsbook services are reflected by Kansas’ gambling law, which currently provides local residents with the chance to do something they were already doing via black market operators.
Apart from that, Mr. Ryckman has noted that it was extremely important for Kansas to take advantage of the US Supreme Court’s ruling as soon as possible and add legal sports betting services ahead of Missouri, which has still not authorized the new form of gambling. Now, thousands of Missouri residents come to Kansas to place wagers on sports every week, with Kansas keeping that tax revenue.
Unfortunately, the overall revenue from sports betting received by the state represents only 0.05% of Kansas’ tax revenue, making it a negligible amount that is far from enough to fill a budget hole.